No. 1 Michigan State
Here's my argument. And read it, before you dismiss it. This team won 9 games last season and returns 19 starters. It has a veteran QB in Brian Lewerke, who knows how to win big games. It faces Ohio State and Michigan State in East Lansing. It has a coach in Mark Dantonio who knows as much about Xs and Os as anyone.
So here's how it's going to work. The Spartans will come out of the gate this season with a 5-game winning streak, going into their game against Penn State, which will be demoralized just a bit because it will have lost to Ohio State the week before. And even if they win, the letdown factor will kick in.
If the Spartans win that game, that puts them at home against Michigan with another chance to ruin the Wolverines season just a bit. A win vs. Ohio State, which will be looking at Michigan in its front view mirror, puts Spartie in the Big 10 title game, where it can find a way to beat Wisconsin.
Win that and Michigan State is in the Final Four. And if they are in the Final Four, they can end up No. 1, but will probably have to beat someone like Alabama or Clemson to get to the title game. If the Spartans can get that far, they can climb to No. 1
Go ahead, laugh now, but let's see what happens.